March 27, 2014 |
WASHINGTON - The Affordable Care Act faced its second trip to the Supreme Court on Tuesday, with the justices considering whether corporations have religious rights and can restrict contraception coverage for employees. As a freak March snowstorm raged outside, the questioning seemed to split along ideological lines, just as it largely did two years ago when President Obama's health-care law was first considered. Justice Anthony Kennedy, who asked challenging questions of both sides Tuesday, seemed most likely to cast the swing vote if a liberal-conservative split occurred.
March 24, 2014 |
TRENTON Stuart Rabner rose from the ranks of federal prosecutor to New Jersey's chief justice with accolades from his former boss, Chris Christie. As U.S. attorney for New Jersey, Christie recommended Rabner to Democratic Gov. Jon S. Corzine, who recruited Rabner in 2005 as his chief counsel. Within 18 months, Corzine had nominated Rabner to the Supreme Court. Calling Rabner "a fabulous choice," Christie said: "There is not a job in the law that Stu Rabner could not do well.
March 21, 2014 |
JUSTICE Ruth Bader Ginsburg should retire from the Supreme Court after the completion of the current term in June. She turned 81 on Saturday and by all accounts she is healthy and physically and mentally able to continue. But only by resigning this summer can she ensure that a Democratic president will be able to choose a successor who shares her views and values. A great deal turns on who picks Ginsburg's successor. There are, for example, four likely votes to overturn Roe v. Wade on the current court: Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. and Justices Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas and Samuel A. Alito Jr. If a Republican president selects Ginsburg's replacement, that justice easily could be the fifth vote needed to allow the government to prohibit all abortions.
March 20, 2014 |
Three weeks ago, Philadelphia lawyer Richard Sprague took what legal experts called an unusual and possibly risky move: asking the state Supreme Court to take away an appeal pending before a three-judge Superior Court panel for taking too long to rule. Although cause-and-effect are impossible to prove, on March 11 the Superior Court panel issued its opinion in Sprague's pretrial appeal in a 2005 defamation lawsuit by two former Lackawanna County commissioners against the Scranton Times-Tribune newspaper.
March 16, 2014 |
TRENTON Gov. Christie's administration on Friday won more time from the state Supreme Court to write new rules to jump-start the state's affordable housing program. The decision vacated a recent appellate court ruling that ordered the Council on Affordable Housing (COAH) - which has been near-dormant under Christie's administration - to resume meeting immediately, setting a deadline this month for the agency to create new rules. In a 5-1 decision, the state's high court said COAH could have until May 1, the date it requested, to produce new rules outlining how many affordable homes must be available in each municipality.
March 13, 2014 |
GLASSBORO An appellate court on Tuesday upheld the dismissal of a complaint by a Glassboro police officer who contended he should have been given notice and a hearing before a written reprimand by his superior. The court, affirming a trial court's rejection of David B. Burns' claim, cited state law that specifically requires such process for suspension, removal, fines, and reduction in rank. Thomas Cushane, the attorney for the now-retired officer, said the matter provides an opportunity to address a legislative void.
March 12, 2014 |
TRENTON The Christie administration's fight over affordable housing mandates is back before the state Supreme Court, which will consider whether to uphold a lower court's order that a near-dormant state agency resume meeting about the rules this week. The state responded in legal filings Sunday that the appellate court had overstepped its boundaries and that the Supreme Court should put on hold the lower court's order setting a schedule for the Council on Affordable Housing (COAH). The appellate court, which issued its decision Friday, ordered COAH to quickly produce new rules determining how many affordable homes municipalities must provide.
March 1, 2014 |
In what experts are calling an extraordinary legal gambit, Philadelphia lawyer Richard A. Sprague is asking the state Supreme Court to yank a case from the hands of three lower-court judges for taking too long to rule. Using language usually reserved for an opposing lawyer in a hotly contested trial, Sprague's motion says "inexcusable" delay by the three-judge Superior Court panel in a defamation case "reflects a deliberate indifference to their judicial duties. " His motion also asks the state's highest court to direct its watchdog agency, the Board of Judicial Conduct, to begin an inquiry into the conduct of the panel, composed of President Judge Susan Peikes Gantman and Judges Mary Jane Bowes and Judith F. Olson of Superior Court.
January 19, 2014 |
Superior Court Judge Faustino J. Fernandez-Vina was sworn in Friday as the only Hispanic member of New Jersey's highest court - and the first Supreme Court appointee Democrats have approved in two years amid an impasse with Gov. Christie. Fernandez-Vina, 61, who prefers the childhood nickname "Fuzzy," won unanimous Senate approval Nov. 18 for the seven-member court. On Friday, he laid his hand on a Bible held by his father and took the oath as an associate justice during a ceremony at Rutgers-Camden.
January 14, 2014
Historic setting Inquirer coverage of Philadelphia's plans for the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service glossed over the irony that many events on Monday will be taking place at Girard College. In 1954, the year the Supreme Court issued its Brown v. Board of Education ruling, Philadelphia's city solicitor started proceedings to break a discriminatory clause in Stephen Girard's will that had excluded black boys from Girard College. It took 14 years of protracted litigation (three lawsuits went all the way to the Supreme Court)